CATHOLIC women deacons

helping women answer the call...

Suzanne Grady

Seattle, WA

"I was a single Mom with a son whom I adopted as an infant when I was 44. When he was in eighth grade, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was terrified. I knew my faith was shaky when fear took over. The medical problems were solved with surgery and radiation, but I knew I had to "fix my faith." I retired from a long career in high tech and began to volunteer in church work, taught Scripture study and eventually enrolled in the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. After four years of studies, I realized something was happening to me. I knew I felt a calling to true ministry. I changed my major to a Masters in Divinity and decided to do my best to become a deacon. I asked my Pastor for an application to become a Deacon - he thought I was crazy! I knew that Pope Francis had said he wanted to have the Bishops "smell their sheep." I asked for an appointment to see my Bishop - it took me a year to get the meeting scheduled. It was a good meeting, but he was clear that he did not think this was a possibility in our lifetime and that I should follow what Jesus wanted me to do. I lead Just Faith Groups, taught Bible Study, was a Eucharistic Minister, and one year was given the opportunity to preach on the 4th Sunday of Advent (my pastor said it was the best he had heard). I am an active spiritual director and have helped design an Adult Faith Formation program for my Parish. I have continued active in Church work but am often overcome by the sexism in the Church. Our Divine Creator has blessed me with many graces. I graduated with an M.Div in 2010, joining my son at Seattle U. when he graduated in electrical engineering. I so very much want to kneel at the altar and pledge myself to the Bishop and the Church. I still hope and pray for the opportunity to serve as a deacon. I am 75 years old and sadly know I don't have many years to be given the opportunity to serve my church. But I trust the work of the Spirit in our Church and I hope for the Pope to say YES."
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